From the Hernando Sun: “Imagine.
A 6-year-old girl, a Princess Elsa backpack at her feet, sitting in a chair in the front office of her school. You kneel down to her level. You can’t see her hands because they’re in handcuffs, behind her back. She is under a Baker Act.
As a parent, a teacher, a guidance counselor, a social services worker, or police officer; human emotions would be challenged at that moment. All who would be in that room with that little girl are human beings. No one wants to see a young child in handcuffs. However, it’s unfortunately an event that happens at times, in those professions. For reasons that aren’t criminal.
Is she a bad child?
Did she commit a crime?
Is she going to jail?
But a pair of handcuffs around the wrists of her small hands are life-altering. Even if it’s ‘just a Baker Act.’ Convincing an impressionable 1st grader that she isn’t a bad person while her wrists are clamped together by cold, locked bracelets of metal is difficult. She will always remember this day.”